UNCSA Student from Jacksonville Wins USITT Master Craftsmanship Award for Scene Painting

UNCSA Student from Jacksonville Wins USITT Master Craftsmanship Award for Scene Painting

Alexa Busnot, a scenic artist about to receive her BFA in Scenic Arts from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, has won USITT's first Master Craftsmanship Award sponsored by Bernhard R. Works.

Works, a USITT Fellow and professor emeritus of design and production at the University of Illinois, established the award last year to recognize an undergraduate college student as "a practicing theatre artisan."

Busnot will receive the award at USITT's Annual Conference & Stage Expo March 26-29 in Fort Worth, Texas. She will receive $1,000 plus free registration for the four-day USITT Conference, where she'll meet her award sponsors, network with other industry professionals, and participate in some of the 200 workshops and activities.

The award is one of 11 Young Designers & Technicians awards presented by USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, to recognize excellence by young theatrical designers and technicians. Winners are nominated by USITT members and chosen by a panel of experts in each field based on portfolios of their work.

The Master Craftsmanship award will rotate among the disciplines of scene painting, stage properties, costume making, and lighting technology. The first is for scene-painting.

Busnot, a graduating UNCSA senior, was nominated by Prof. Howard C. Jones, Director of Scene Painting at UNCSA and co-founder with Rachel Keebler of the famous Cobalt Studios in White Lake, New York.

She received her associate's degree in entertainment technology from Florida State Colege at Jacksonville. She graduated high school from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville.

Jones called Busnot "a solid artist" and "a strong and solid leader." "Each project she has done always starts with a sharp, clean drawing that then comes to life with a clean and open painting style which has a beautiful freshness," he wrote.

Busnot submitted a portfolio that showed scenery she painted for a UNCSA production of She Loves Me and a Maine State Music Theatre production of Mary Poppins, among other work.

Busnot said she burst into tears of joy when she learned she won the award.

"I have never been so honored and never have I felt so deeply grateful for the education I have received and the relationships I have established," she said. "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to attend the 2014 USITT Conference and to have the chance to learn more about the people who make this industry thrive."

USITT, the non-profit association for backstage professionals, provides year-round training, networking, awards, information-sharing, and resourcing of theatrical products and services. For more information, please visit www.usitt.org.

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